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Expose Yourself to Greatness, to Genius, to the Art You Love

This afternoon, I went to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NYC to experience an exhibit honoring Jim Henson: “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World.”

It just about blew my head off it was so incredibly creative —the exhibit AND the materials: the drawings, doodles, notes, storyboards, Muppets bits, and film clips.

After touring the museum, we went to the interview of Frank Oz by Craig Shemin.

Filled with anecdotes, humor, clips from the Muppets and Frank’s movies, the 90 min interview had the sold-out room reeling with joy, laughter, wonder and adoration.

Hours later, every cell of my being is still swirling.

And I am reminded once again of the importance of being exposed to high quality creativity.

Whatever your passion (sports, music, photography, visual arts, comedy, nature) the value of experiencing your art at the highest level possible cannot be overestimated.

I agree, reading PEOPLE magazine is like brain candy, watching TV every so often is hard to resist, but the mileage you get for your soul, creativity and brain-nourishment when you experience the creative material firsthand is beyond measure.

Don’t look for the watered down version. Don’t study with the person who studied with the person who studied with the master if you can get to the master, EVEN IF this means studying his or her work in a book, in a film, or in a taped interview.

When I was learning to drive, my brother sat in the passenger seat to train me. He studied me the way older brothers do…with a mix of both guidance and disdain. As I crept along the street, holding the wheel in a white-knuckle grip with my eyes glued to the road 15 feet in front of the car, my brother looked over and advised: “Don’t study the road 15 feet in front of you. Look at it farther ahead and you’ll pick up everything in between.”

I’ll never forget that.

In other words, study with the masters and you’ll learn so much of what you need to learn to get there yourself. Those people at the 15 feet mark haven’t yet been down the road themselves.

So take out your calendar. Get on Google. And find an opportunity to go, hear, see, listen to or experience something or someone GREAT in a field that you love.

It’s worth every penny.

And for those of you anywhere near New York, get yourself to this Henson exhibit before it closes in January. It and the museum are a treat beyond measure.

Last, for those of you who are Muppets and/or Sesame Street fans, here is a special bonus link…a beautiful, moving tribute to the partnership between Frank Oz & Jim Henson. Click here. Enjoy. And let it inspire you…

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